Southern Minnesota Celebrates Water Ski Days | Sports Destination Management

Southern Minnesota Celebrates Water Ski Days

Jun 24, 2022

Held the last full weekend in June (June 23-26, 2022), Water Ski Days celebrates the invention of water skiing in Lake City, and its inventor, Ralph Samuelson.

This city-wide event has something for everyone! A carnival, complete with rides and games, an arts and crafts fair with 100+ vendors, a grand parade, classic car show, food trucks, huge concerts, and of course, water ski show teams!

In 2022 we celebrate the 50th year of the festival and 100 years as “The Birthplace of Water Skiing” with 4 days of fun, featuring Water Ski 100 programming presented by Hearth and Home Technologies(opens in new window).

Concert Line-Up
Billboard Top 40 Country Artist and social media star Chase Matthew headlines a Saturday (6/25) concert with special guest, the 4 on the Floor. Eight-piece band, The Jorgensens (Thu 6/23), regional country western favorites, Hitchville (Fri 6/24), and party-anthem rockers, Junk FM (Sun 6/26) round out the extended weekend’s live music lineup at the beverage garden and food truck court in Ohuta Beach Park.

Water Ski 100 Events

- On Friday (6/24) from 12-5pm the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation will be hosting a free “get on the water” event featuring Joe Knapp (Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame), Betsy Gilman Anderson (world-renowned barefoot skier), and Megan Adams (2020 Junior World Water Ski Champion).

- On Saturday and Sunday over 50 regional show team performers, organized by the Ski Dox show team, will hold 3 gravity-defying shows for fest-goers,
complete with reenactments of Ralph Samuelson stunts. These shows will occur at Ohuta Beach on Sat (6/25) at 11am and 4pm and Sun (6/26) at 4pm, with Saturday’s show featuring Wisconsin Rapids pilot and performer Kurt Gross and his Lake Amphibian floatplane.
82-year-old Glen Sperry, the first person to ever ski on stilts, will also showcase his skills at this year’s shows.
- Jay Mercill, professional motocross racer, will be attempting to beat 2 world records riding a motorcycle on water – 20+ miles in distance and 58 mph in speed. Sat (6/25) 12:30pm.

- Lake City Area
Arts will be home to a fascinating historical exhibition curated by the Water Ski Hall of Fame. The exhibit will also feature on the hour showings of Ben Threinen’s documentary, Ralph Samuelson: The Father of Water Skiing presented by the Lake City Historical Society.

- Big Water Sports will offer water ski lessons Saturday (6/25) and Sunday (6/26). Call (507) 481-7298 for info and pricing.

- Other Water Ski 100 related activities in Lake City this summer include the public debut screening of Threinen’s documentary at Lincoln High School on June 21st, and the official unveiling of a life-sized Ralph Samuelson bronze sculpture at Ohuta Beach Park on July 2nd.

Ski Days is a Lake City Chamber of Commerce event. The Chamber encourages all fest-goers to explore the scores of wonderful locally owned shops and restaurants in Lake City while taking in this year’s celebration.

Visit (opens in new window) for a full list and schedule of events. Likewise, (opens in new window) offers a plethora of information if you are traveling from elsewhere for the event.

The Lake City Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank all the volunteers, partners and sponsors that make Water Ski Days possible.


  • Thursday, June 23, 2022
  • Friday, June 24, 2022
  • Saturday, June 25, 2022
  • Sunday, June 26, 2022
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